Friday, August 22, 2014

Feeding a Book Connoisseur

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.  

The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." 

-- Dr. Seuss

There is a certain eight year old in my house that can read a book faster than I can turn around.  I am so very pleased that she enjoys to read so much and can very clearly remember when she was learning how to read (there are gray hairs to prove it).  I would sit and tell her that once she could read on her own her entire world would open up.  She would fuss and then read.  :)  Well, after many hours spent during her first grade year listening to her read out loud I set her loose last year on her own.  My plan was to let her read whatever she wanted (within lots of reason).  Basically it meant I was not standing over her and hand selecting every book.  The plan worked.  She is quite the little bookworm and loves to read.  However, I grew very tired of her choices when I knew there were so many wonderful books out there, she just needed help finding them.  She was stuck on fun series that just didn't go very deep.  I have known she was a strong reader, but not sure where she really fell in the reading spectrum, making me timid in picking for her.  After testing her in the spring, her scores revealed that she could read anything and my research suggested that I needed to focus on her selection of material and her ability to "deal" with what she may read.  Enter new game plan.  Mom controls the reading list. 

Olivia is competitively driven.  So, I did hours of research and then made a list.  You know, the kind that looks really big and you have to check off each time you finish one?  I wanted my initial list to reflect some old favorites mixed with some of today's newer reads.  I also wanted to include biographies of certain historical characters that will be making appearances in our studies this year.  I was pleasantly surprised to find several blogs devoted to this.  I simply began by Googling something like, "What books every third grader should read."  

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world.  Love of books is best of all."

-- Jacqueline Kennedy

She was slightly apprehensive when she saw the list.  Partially because of the list size and partially wondering what in the world Mom would be picking.  I am happy to report she is well into the list and I have been given the thumbs up on every selection thus far.  I anticipate that she will be done with this list well before Christmas, when we will make a new list.  So, please give me your favorite selections and we can work together to get our kids reading the best books out there!  Here is Olivia's current list.

Little House on the Prairie (I chose this because it is timeless.)
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prairie
Farmer Boy
On the Banks of Plum Creek
By the Shores of Silver Lake
The Long Winter
Little Town on the Prairie
These Happy Golden Years
The First Four Years

The Chronicles of Narnia (Timeless.)
The Magician's Nephew
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Horse and His Boy
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle

Old Classics + New Finds
Old Yeller
Where the Red Fern Grows
The Mighty Miss Malone
Each Little Bird that Sings
A Crooked Kind of Perfect
The One and Only Ivan
Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?
Island A Story of the Galapagos
Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot (a series)
Walk Two Moons

Historical Characters (Actual titles not yet chosen.)
Attila the Hun
King Arthur
Christopher Columbus
Walter Raleigh
William Shakespeare
Part of my concern with the speed at which she reads is whether or not she is comprehending what she is reading.  So, in order to give me some assurance in this area, she will be reporting on these books in one of several ways.  She will either write a book report, complete book projects (often found on Teachers Pay Teachers), or she can write a blog post about the book.  She did have a brilliant idea that I had to totally cave to when she suggested it.  She formed a book club with one of her best homeschool friends.  She convinced her to get her mom to buy one of the first books and they would read two chapters a day and then have a phone date every Tuesday to discuss the book.  See?  How could I say no to that?  They started with The Mighty Miss Malone.  I think it is a hit so far...the book and the club.  ;) 

"The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location 
of the library."  -- Albert Einstein

Read On,
The Homeschool Mama

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